Microsoft has recently admitted that third-party contractors listen to your voice conversations on Skype and virtual assistant Cortana.
The revelation came after tech news magazine and video platform Motherboard found contractors were listening to audio from both Skype and Cortana, including sensitive and personal conversations of Microsoft customers.
On Wednesday a Microsoft spokesperson told Motherboard: “We realised, based on questions raised recently, that we could do a better job specifying that humans sometimes review this content.”
“We’ve updated our privacy statement and product FAQs to add greater clarity and will continue to examine further opportunities to improve,” the spokesperson added.
The updated privacy statement says human review is used to help build, train and improve the accuracy of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems.
“We manually review short snippets of a small sampling of voice data. We have taken steps to de-identify to improve our speech services, such as recognition and translation,” it added.
The Skype Translator’s new FAQ read: “This may include transcription of audio recordings by Microsoft employees and vendors, subject to procedures designed to protect users privacy, including taking steps to de-identify data, requiring non-disclosure agreements with vendors and their employees, and requiring that vendors meet the high privacy standards set out in European law and elsewhere.”
However Microsoft did not disclose whether it will disband the practice.
According to Motherboard, Microsoft’s human review contractors are paid between $12 and $14 an hour for the job, and transcribe up to 200 audio clips every hour.